Sunday, January 31, 2010

"King Machine" a song in the middle of the night

“King Machine”

Piano lessons open escape to the world
Tin Pan Alley dreams become his one and only girl
California prays for its poets in those days
Sun shines down on troubadours, making their ways
Few if any have had so much fun, making a hit-machine!
Though you know he was pretty bummed in the spaces in between.
It was never just about the words, solar a-gammon
Every send up of a trend on a record you leave on

He’s still standing, so long chasing the crown
Though it never left his head, as sure as the dirt is brown
There’s no room for thrones, as the tribute-paying record stores close
Such a super fan flair, no one knows, he was the biggest thing
King Machine

The sage who brushed wild west romance, the kicker of the moss
Gave his words to the captain to celebrate the loss
They would dance, they would fantasize
Those who could not dig his truth, couldn’t see his eyes
Keep turning, old wagon wheel, you know how I feel
Country comforts, rockets and jets, history and the changing world met
Auction his costumes & bolo feathers
Cheered the brightest day,felt the change of weather

He’s still standing, so long chasing the crown
Though it never left his head, as sure as the dirt is brown
There’s no room for thrones, as the tribute-paying record stores close
Such a super fan flair, no one knows, he was the biggest thing
King Machine

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Electric Thieves" an original short story by Cecil Disharoon

“The Electric Thief” by C. Lue Disharoon

Her innate sense of time tells what her watch confirms; she still has half of the opera, Lucia di Lammermoor , which should be at intermission, now, in which to complete the job.

In the torrid Miami night, steadily she places one foot over the other on her skyline precarious perch. Firmly she grasps her rope, not shifting weight very much, minimizing the strain. Twenty two stories above the street, the penthouse balcony should be unlocked.

One sliding glass door later, she touches her backpack, which cradles her device inside, for security.

Her guess leads her to a pair of paintings, her quarry. The first: a girl, holding a doll. From her uncle’s books, she recognizes the impressionistic work of
Miroslav Kraljević. Surprising, to see paintings of this quality outside of the Louvre, or Zagrebu, She stares at the second one, a Požega landscape painted in the impressionistic atmosphere plenerističkom influence. She removes it carefully from its mounting, for after she finishes the safe.
“What fortune: it’s directly behind the Kraljević!” Now, the device--- tested for two months. She affixes its lock-negating electrodes, carefully reading the feedback before channeling the current that will reverse the magnetic polarity of the locks inside its door.
The readout checks out, twice, now she chooses the currency of her charge in silence. “Takav uređaj graciozan, ona misli. Ako mi je ovaj događaj na puno radno vrijeme, ja bih provesti dizajn odabrati odgovarajući odgovor valute automatski, ali ja sam htjela biti u mogućnosti nadzirati kvalitetu.”*
A smell of ozone; the door swings open. Unmarked antique pearl necklace: “no, it’s a probably a family heirloom.” She unwraps a parchment; it seems a hundred brittle years old.
“That’s quite an impressive safecracker there,”
She nearly drops her equipment. He chuckles, waving his hand downward---a blond, a silhouetted athlete.
“I won’t hurt you. Where did you find this device, though?
“I made it.”
“You made it?”
“I am a descendent of Nikola Tesla.”
“Not joking, are you? Clearly a serious lady.” Please, come over to this sofa; relax. Careful work casing this place; choosing a night when the occupants attended the opera. Ah, but how did you miscalculate? At the last moment. Eglise Gutiérrez was ill. I decided to exchange my tickets.”
He leers at her sleek black leather outfit, topped by a scarlet mask of silk, with two eyeholes. “Slavic accent?”
“Heh--- procuring the Kraljević for the museum? May I?” he says, casually, unraveling the parchment. His eyes alternate between it and her inquisitive gaze.
He chuckles like a brook. “See the name? Recognize these notes in Serbian?”
“I had no chance.”

“Nebjosa Petrovic. Worked with your famous ancestor---on incomplete plans for a twin turbine. But tell me---what is your motivation?”

“You alerted the police?”

“Perhaps! Then again, should they arrive, it might be a false alarm, no?”

“My father is in prison. I suppose he was my inspiration to do this thing tonight, for he was the best cat burglar in Zagreb. He’ll die of cancer before parole. I anguish over the thought of him, alone. I want him with his family. That will take money that I do not have, quickly.”
By the moonlight, he studies in steady breaths. “I believe you. Can I tell you my thoughts on this blueprint? Some of Tesla’s early work. He never drew his own blueprints, so the hand here is Petrovic.” Listen, my fascinating masked friend, I think you should take some of these certificates, these blueprints. Make it out of here, you’re free. I want you to send me a letter, to the address on this card, with a picture of you and your father when you take him home.” He places the card in her hand, pressing it into her palm. “Now...could I kiss you?”
Perplexed, her jaw drops open.
She leans, hesitates--- smells his peach breath. Her lips touch his, feeling their warmth. His hand lightly touches her silk scarf mask. She touches his tongue with hers; a flood begins in the core of her. She invites his weight, slowly onto her. His sinewy hands comb her hair that protrudes from her red mask. He balances on his knees, whispering, “may I please bite...?” into her ear, as he lightly nibbles her ear lobe. “Yes,” she coos.
He begins to exhale his hot breath, as his fingertips outline her throat twice. “I feel your heart pounding here,” he says of her veins. “Please....” She nods. His lips brush her neck in light strokes, subtle arcs that mirror his breathing. He puts his mouth on her neck, pressing his tongue to hers. She writhes, making soft sounds.
“ Comfortable?”
“My butt is asleep,” she laughs, and shifts. She lets his finger drag across her chest, hardening her nipple. He gives her breast a light squeeze, another deep kiss.
He sighs, raises up on his well-defined arms. “I’d escort you to the elevator, but you can’t afford witnesses.”
Relieved, excited, she gets up from the couch, with the documents.
“I won’t forget you,” he says, picking up the painting as he walks her to the balcony. He opens the moonlit door, to the torrid Miami night.
Of her own accord, she kisses him; his hand climbs the front of her as her legs squeeze together. His hand pets her beneath her top, before his fingers curl away as though waving good-bye.
Then, he hops onto the ledge, as the harbor breeze blows in.
“Lucia di Lammermoor is over,” he says. “They’ll be home. Careful on the way down.”
Painting strapped to his back, her mysterious paramour eases down the balcony with a bare-handed grip. Down the side of the building to the next ledge, he goes, depending only upon his arm strength to secure his perilous way, handhold by handhold, to the street below.

She secures her grappling hook, in disbelief. She remembers: she, too, must depart.

"Time to read about Orange Revolution in Ukraine and Green Revolution in Iran. The stage is being set to re-enact the same drama here in Sri Lanka with international support."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Opening a letter to my friends of all stripes

I'm about to conclude this mini-epic in alternative/ fringe heroic fantasy, so visit (Just throw it in the browser; link insertion's acting crazy...)

and now, a letter on real world workings from an insider to the third world:
Mahesh Rajasuriya January 23 at 3:35am
Dear C Lue,

Thank you for offering help. Yes, we need it. The less powerful need people like you, people with a conscience, always.

My view of the happenings in Sri Lanka goes like this:

Sri Lanka has been a country that has been camping one or the other powerful countries in the recent history for survival. But with the extraordinary leadership given by current president Mahinda Rajapaksa in defeating one of the most powerful terrorist organisation in the world, Sri Lanka has taken a new path. A path of independence and autonomy. The average person feels that he has a say in where the country is moving. But the elite class (people like myself and J-----) is not very happy. Because our power is dwindling. To cut a long short story, the land value in prime locations in Colombo, the capital have gone down slightly while land values in the rural areas where nobody even ever knew to have existed, have shot up. A slight exaggeration, but I would say the poor and the less powerful are becoming richer and more powerful. Sri Lankan identity is gaining more momentum.

The media that advocated anti-Sri Lankan policy, local as well as international, alcohol and tobacco industry that feel the real threat of dwindling income due to programmes to reduce substance use by the poor rather than by the middle class, people who are brought up in the Western culture, like myself and J---- (myself <<< J-----) who were wishing that one day Sri Lanka would be another state of the US (or India for some other people).... The list is long. All these people have suddenly found a way to reverse the recent developments. Noam Chomsky has said this very well.

So the idiotic villager that accidentally came to power, who speak accented school boy English (i.e. the current president) is trying to rule this country for another six years. No way! We need our country back.

That is what these people seem to say or think.

The president and his party has thousand weaknesses that need correction. But where do you get perfect leaders? Corruption-free governments? We cherish the leader we have got. At least for the time being.

It seems the international forces, especially ones who were ridiculed by the presidents stern actions during the last phase of the war, also seem to have found a good opportunity take their revenge as well as create anarchy in Sri Lanka so they could put their finger in. Even better if they can get the opposition candidate to win (a dream!) they could create a puppet government.

Now the plan is to duplicate Orange Revolution (Ukraine) in Sri Lanka.

Ok, I will stop here. First I would like to know what you think about what I have said. And please let me also know what you have so far found out about the Sri Lankan issue.

Best of luck.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome to Gypsy Cave

Welcome to Gypsy Cave;

It’s all that you are, meeting all here you see;
if you’ll only be free, here, truly, you’ll be.

Yourself--- you’ll be, so beautifully written
Don’t worry now, just know that you’ll fit in.
You’ve something your own, to teach, to share,
And you’ll leave not wanting for time or care.
Here, we’re all new; a forever first visit
The door to yourself is always implicit.

You'll love my thoughtful hang out spot
For all it is, and all it’s not
where people come and visit me
on my Kudzu Mountain sanctuary.

The energy here is super charged, and positivity clicks;
Friends visit for tarot readings and chinese fortune sticks...

Here I smoke my cloves, and drink sweet takara
to fill timeless air with the words known tomorrow
in scents of temples, India; of Happenings, patchouli;
Together, with swirling soy candles, like a record store, truly
of days gone by, innocence, where we meet
where the dog and cat lounge at our feet
by the thousands of songs, and the sounds of chimes,
and we make ourselves new, from the oldest of times.

Now there’s nothing inside you that here you can’t fix
as you drift to your zen through the meditation mix,
or any other tune that shuffles its way
up thousands of songs, while kindness holds sway.
Play, though never you’ve touched a guitar;
Sing, living dust of the life-giving star.

Explore curiosities all through the night
here be a soul, be an open delight;
for we’ve gathered all churches, there need be no steeple;
we need only gather some genuine people.

Here, they’re received without grave pretention;
Here, there’s no slave; uncovered intention.
Laugh, for there’s graves enough for those gone;
Life’s grave enough, when you’ve never got on
Nor savored the pictures, or never knew song
Nor travelled through image, just found yourself wrong.

Never join in to the sleep of this fashion;
Sleep is for dream; see dreams for passion!
Passion for music and art and living---
Passion for all, in all that you’re giving.

The tables are littered with Hemingway’s works;
Kerouac, Palahniuk, many Beat quirks
And their rhythms, uncorked, like a wine to flow through us;
Faith over tea with C.S. Lewis.

Sex, conscience, humor, devotion
Are part of our speech; explore here the notion:
Solutions might aid you, whatever your strife
where all odd curiousities of life
are openly pondered, endlessly
for days to come, until we see---
until we see together the dawn
to waken these senses, long after you’re gone

For you must make of this world your friend
And fear not its turning, and fear not its end
For timeless, where travels meet incense and clove
Forever you’ve visited this gypsy cove.

Getting to know what in friends we hold true---
The new one you meet, I hope, will be you.

Welcome to Gypsy Cave.

Inspired from the words of Sabrina Lam Hall, who made this place out of love for life

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Never Thought You Knew, part four of four

The story's still being worked out in document form, but I like what is told in the symbols of these pictures that guide me. I think you may enjoy it this way.

Tanij and Santos’ generous offer of a place to stay a while warms Meaghan’s heart, though her restlessness drives her outside, with intimations of her journey remaining. She stops at a strip mall for a bite; it would give them some space, and, she reasons, the urge to take over the kitchen is great.

She sends Brian and Kaya a text a world away, and misses Molly with her call. Whatever her pains, the trip provides an emotional remove. A boy's t-shirt evokes her faraway brother; could only imagine how often Spider-Man was Brian's spiritual disguise in the mind's eye, swinging and climbing to freedom in his surroundings.

The desert beckons...the desert calls her spirit home.

But was that the life she wanted...anyway? One makes strange promises for Love.

Photo courtesy Sabrina Lam Hall
But was that the life she wanted...anyway? One makes strange promises for Love.
Accept full range of emotional experience
Practice a kind of stillness and calm.
Peaceful waters, on a day of the sort one might imagine in Heaven itself.

fire from the old years' growth to light the promise of a new spring, decorated with heaven horizons.

Photo courtesy Sabrina Lam Hall

A need to be artistic, a need to gain control of something in the chaos, led her to unpack her pad, her pencils, her charcoal, her inspiration.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Never Thought You Knew, part three of four

“Today sucked,” fumes Meaghan, with none listening but her dog, who she strokes behind the ears. “Just when I started to think 2010 was going to be better, it seems to be starting almost as bad as 2009 ended.” She puts on some Cake, some Megadeth, a song called "Vultures," from Them Crooked Vultures, and speeds up.

A phone call to Tanyjah keeps Meaghan’s spirits up on the long road on from Texas. She admires the way Tanyjah seems so focused, as though there is something that’s held her interest all her life. Tanyjah happens to be baking, as she does every, and only on, holidays.

Meaghan asks her if she plans on teaching or curating.

“If I don’t take Zahi Hawass' job. Curating would be cool, too. I'm just not into teaching.”

“Zahi Hawass is the most familiar name in the field, even to laypeople. Which, I assume, you figured.”

“The guy before him was my friend’s grandfather.

“Wow, that's a good connection to that world,” Meaghan says. She yearns for another lucky break.

“Kind if, he didn’t have that close of a relationship with him but he’s been keeping me connected and getting my questions answered and such not.”

“Is that friend a person who drew you into this interest?” She thinks: “a person to connect me...” with slight melancholy.

“No. I've always been interested in Egyptology. It wasn’t from influence of other people.”

“Simply serendipitous,” she says, relishing the alliteration and thinking: “I’ve always tried to go my own way, too; no one tells me what to do!”
Tenyjah replies, “any project that i ever did where the material wasnt specified, it was always on something Egypt.”

“That's a lot of focus.” Meaghan thinks of her own interests, her various careers, in cooking, in medicine, in shop work: “if only I could tighten my attention into something that would pay.

“My sister’s here; I gotta talk to her about what we’re going to plan. Here, talk to Santos a minute.”

Santos mostly had the gym on his mind, try as he might to ask after other things.

Since Meaghan had been devoted to working again until recently, she’d had many conversations with him about his competitive lifting and training. She congratulates him, as he’s placed first in class the weekend before in a contest benefitting the local police, raising funds for flak jackets.

“What did you get on your maxes?” Meaghan asks.

“Still kind of catching my breath! For my bench, got 400.”

“Just shy of your best, 410.” She liked letting him know she remembered.

“Squatted 525. Yep.”

“Turn, you bitch! Heck, got distracted, Santos; do go on.”

“Deadlifted 610, and military press, lifted 235.”

“Do you do some of the other free weight stuff or just focus on your lifts?”

“I hit all of the body, different groups--- different days, of course. You know what I mean when I say my muscles are ‘pumped’ after a work out?”

“I’ve experienced it. But then, they look cool for the pictures! Are you asking rhetorically or did you want to say something?”
At least she could be glad for Santos; her gall bladder had troubled her along with other ominous pains while recently running.

“True!” he says, smile evident. “And like when your veins pop out after you work out?” he continues. “That is pumped. It's your body sending more blood to bring oxygen to break down the lactic acid buildup.”

She felt cheated; running, too, was once a source of pride for her, maybe even the pivotal thing in her life that had made her belong, when she made track. In those days, she could do anything she’d never done before.

“At least,” she replies, “your enthusiasm is contagious.”

Soon Meaghan finds herself pulling into Taos, about three miles from her friends’ Tenyjah and Santos’ shared house on its northern outskirts. She sits behind a taxicab, driven by an Indian in a lavender turban. Despite herself, she thinks of Collin, and their time in New Zealand, and their visit to Thailand. She thinks of the taxicab ride they shared, stuck in traffic while her gall bladder gave her terrible fits. She’d written him since he broke things off; it seemed so sudden.

Why did he not let her finish? What did he have to do the next morning that could be more important than the details of their relationship? Cowardly of him, not to respond! Wasn’t he the one who’d moved things so fast? Moved away so fast?

“Why not even give me a chance?”

Sarah calls Meaghan to see how her trip is going; with small reassurances, she then calls Molly, to let her know she recognizes this part of town, her bus will pull in shortly after midnight as planned.

The fact that this plan’s specifics only took shape the day before, nor that she is technically arriving a half an hour after Christmas, does not phase her. A day on the road with anticipation was certainly better than staying at home with Meaghan gone, who’d decided the week before to travel with Roderick and Ned, leaving the dogs’ upkeep to the last minute. Brian and Kayac had called from Italy while she was still on the road; she shares their happiness at their first Christmas in Napoli.

Her determination to remain cheerful had led to a bathroom conversation with a bus employee, who had tipped her off that the bus to San Antonio departed shortly; perhaps from there, she would find a transfer and arrive in California for Christmas.

Riding with fellow travelers, disregarding the insane one who spewed venom over being bumped by a child on a crowded holiday bus, sure beat missing her older sister Anne, whose house she’d been cleaning up for weeks after her sudden death. Staying busy had taken Anne’s absence from her mind, and the trip to see Molly had given her a holiday plan, even one delayed by the weather.

An Iraq war veteran, riding with her since the Dallas, had commented on her positivity, how she bore the inconvenience like a true soldier. His words remain with her as the bus winds its way down Front Street and rumbles slowly into the Broadway terminal. Hardly the first time, after all, she’d had to cope with what she could get, out of what she wanted, she mused as she pulled the bag with one broken wheel away from the bus.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Never Thought You Knew, part two

(declarations and sandwiches)

The bad news comes: the Greyhound bound for San Diego via Phoenix is turning back from a massive snow storm. Sarah gradually begins to change her mind about the inevitable difficulty, the change in plans that could not be helped if she was to continue.

One spot of relief comes in the form of a call from James, or Jay Jay, as they’d always called him before he himself left Tennessee on a Greyhound years before, under troubling circumstances. He’d found his way to Oklahoma, where he now worked perhaps too many hours as an obstetrician, with his own family now. He jovially dominated the conversation, held from his in-laws house in a snow-bound location parallel to Sarah’s own path.

“The friggin snow and ice was just too much! Looks like Steely will have her last Santa in life away from her house! She's not happy but what do ya do? I just wanted you to know how much you and Mr. McCalley meant to me growing up, what good examples y’all were. I didn’t have such good role models; however strict y’all may have been, you were always there providing for your kids. I think of myself as one of your own, too. I hope you will make it, Mama McCalley; keep the faith!”

Sarah’s mind drifts back to the last year of Santa Claus for her own children, almost twenty five years before. Those were golden years for her and Wayne. She’d always thought of him as loving and true, even when he seemed to only work.

Meaghan sits outside a strip mall somewhere on the way to El Paso, pondering her own disinterest in Christmastime. The years of Santa Claus were long since passed; even then, the feeling was as elusive as a beginner’s balance on skates.
Sarah remembers Meaghan as a surprise, a change-of-life baby arriving just as the first two, Brian and Molly, were old enough to attend school. Sarah had never done much with her Bible college education---a stint as a secretary, but mostly retail; she’d been waiting tables when she met Wayne.

The early years with the children were full of magic little moments--pictures for a magazine, questions like "Mom, what are little ears?", hugs and declarations and sandwiches--- nestled in a growing restlessness with the needs of domestic life. She’d trade nothing for her children, yet she felt as though almost every need for the children, besides money, seemed to call upon her. Perhaps no mother’s moments are meant for her alone---but why mothers, only? Wayne would come home in time to let the kids crawl all over his dozing form on the couch, and they surely thought the moon and stars revolved around him. But all the doctor’s appointments, meals, the long sick nights, the laundry, the housecleaning, the learning, the watchfulness---she’d dozed off herself one afternoon, and awakened to find her daughter’s hair butchered artlessly by Brian, who cheerfully announced: “we’ve been playing ‘barber shop’!”

She’d just finished a course on public speaking and job skills---she was sick the very morning of her graduation from the program, just as she was simply enjoying the moment for a change. That sickness was the beginning of her third pregnancy, and while she didn’t truly resent the new life, those long hours Wayne spent away on the job began to frustrate her more than ever. Sarah was glad to hear about his friendships, didn’t mean to begrudge him nights out with the boys, hours in the bar after work squeezed in between long stretches of overtime.

She had seen a lot of anger growing up, and while her own behavior broke her heart, Sarah would occasionally fly into fits, almost oblivious to the watching eyes of her children. Wayne was a coward, running from the duty of the family in a way he could too readily justify with the constant needs of the children, his own pressures to settle down as Sarah had.

Brian and Molly had found her crying on her bed after one particularly terrible fit of loneliness; their comfort had made her somewhat ashamed. Post partum depression was still not a common topic of conversation as yet; only looking back could she assess some of the situation with a bit of clinical detachment. She made more of an effort to bond with her Meaghan: why should she pay the price for Sarah’s sense of entitlement? Yet, the harder she was on herself, the more her stress came out onto her children and Wayne.

Somehow, Meaghan’s birthday made her ineligible for the preschool where they’d recently moved due to the recession , and at that point Sarah resigned herself, deciding there were no missed opportunities. Besides, she went into her own father’s furniture business, with Wayne eventually to follow, thus easing the loneliness for adult company as Meaghan finally started kindergarten, which had been interrupted by another move. At least now the pieces could fall into place. The last of the Santa Claus years had much brighter lights.

So distant now the memories, fights lost in the recession of years. Seeing him suffer only made him and all he’d ever done angelic to her eyes.

Some people hastily abandoned their bus rides upon hitting the snowstorm almost two hours outside Dallas. They decided to take their chances elseways.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

“Never Thought You Knew”

“Never Thought You Knew” (part 1)

It’s a cold morning, brisk winter winds celebrating leaves, colored, their time spent now, fluttering about in their transition to decay. They picked a simple demise, while the tree continues on, each leaf having done its small part in keeping it alive, for some time to come.

Meaghan is glad the sun is out, making her travel bearable. The old Plymouth has a heater that cuts in and out, so one can only keep clothing layers handy and hope for the best when travelling at night. Her Jack Russell Terrier, Feather, thoroughly examines the tree for all its information, and then leaves a tinkled guest book listing of her own. Meaghan’s mind drifts to the baking she plans to do when she arrives at Tenyjah and Santos’ home. Tenyjah’s apartment will be filled with Egyptian masks and prints, collections began when she was only nine. Despite the fact that they’d never talked much about it, she knows Tenyjah would be perfectly happy to sit in a lab and decode hieroglyphics.

Meaghan’s Plymouth cruises down the west Texas highway. The desert stretches forth with wailing winds and tumbleweeds.

Sarah misses Meaghan, but she’s glad to hear from her on the road. The holiday finds them both travelling, together in so many private ponderings, yet apart. Sarah thinks of her dogs; Spanky and G-Whiz are groomed, updated on shots, tucked away at the kennel miles behind her in Chattanooga. Sarah wishes her daughter were beside her, and they were both in Meaghan’s Plymouth, taking turns driving the country to visit Sarah’s oldest daughter in Los Angeles. She glimpses the archway as the bus rolls slowly away from St. Louis, a light blinking hello above the river as Missouri beckons. She’s thankful the Greyhound is not stopped in a terminal like the hour she spent in Nashville; no more stops, children and conversations wind down, lights go out down the aisle as the highway hums.

Meaghan doesn’t want to spend the holiday with her mom---not even with her sister Molly, or Brian and KayaČ. They would simply have to understand, though she loves them: a woman needs to feel a direction, such as she simply can't find waiting for a holiday to end. She doesn't feel the holidays, that consumer-driven checklist of perfect, taunting domestic images.

What present would matter? She feels her own Santa sack has been lightened by laid-off elves, herself included. What present could she long for, more than some kind of certainty, a path, a job, a home of her own, and healing?

A house, they say, is not a home; a place to dwell might seem a hell.
She doesn’t want to spend the holidays so sad over her dad dying, and Roderick and Ned have invited her to come out to Texas a few days. At least the air is easier to breathe, driving in this direction. Will she go on to New Mexico from there? Open doors with a couple of friends; nothing worse than the nowhere rut she’s left behind. Even with her mother paying the bills and providing her a room, sharing a computer, her own way without direction or request--- there was no solace in that security, no answers in her home town. Even now, spending Christmas at Ned's Mom's house is a transient measure at best; Roderick will never stop trying to get them back together, in a relationship which belongs to a heart which has since been displaced.

The days pass. The road continues.

Not long after Sarah leaves Dallas, she’s disrupted from her sleep. She finds herself surprised to have been sleeping again; it seems the last trip was filled with so many conversations. It was much like the fellow on the way to Yuma had said some miles back: “after travelling on the road together so many miles and sharing crackers and conversation, it’s like we’re all family.”

That had certainly been true on her previous trips. She reflects: is it a change in the circumstances, or a recent change in herself?

(part two: coldest winter, tomorrow)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Letter about dads and old comics

Dear R.J.

How are you guys doing now? Your son must be about the age I was when I started buying my own Spidey comics. How well have your Mom and bro and sis dealt with your papa's passing?

I'd taken on a rather spiritualist's bent pretty thoroughly before my Dad passed away at the age of 59 of pulmonary fibrosis. I know what you mean; I miss his voice, miss asking him practical things, miss bugging him for old stories. I almost immediately began to
feel as though he was near me when I would sit down to draw, in particular, as I had free-handed an old Western four pager, called "The Man Who Lost the Fight" to send him for what became his last birthday, which he spent with all his old work buddies gathered 'round.

PF seems a particularly fearsome disease, as breathing is that most basic thing for which you and I should give thanks. I wish he hadn't worried about his eternity or dwelt on guilt, even though he spread God's word the way his Baptist church recommends like a truly desperate man might, with tracks and testimonies. We could talk at length about a God kind enough to create us and yet apparently send many of us to burn forever (a solar racial memory?); I digress. I believe salvation should be worth something in terms of inner peace, as it so rarely seems to figure into the minds of many adherents.

Nowadays, on the occasions we're together, I try to consider MOM more, because Dad loved her and insisted we be consistent in our contact and affection for her sake most of all. Kindness to the living is without a doubt the best answer to that last enigma of the consciousness. I try to stay on the side of seeing Dad as part of infinity and not wasted, enjoy his memory, value what he taught me. They were men of seemingly simpler times. His were street smarts---the kind of thing an aspiring geek sometimes acquires more slowly, having the luxury of abstract thought and scholarship.

Spidey was on the first cake I can remember at age 4 (think so; Popeye was #5) and his cartoon played every possible afternoon, even tape recorded (!) for later eventually. ASM #250 was the first issue of that title I bought with my own coin.

My collection is 3000 miles away in Georgia, so this ( has been the best way to rifle through the old long boxes on this day after Mom's bus took her back East.

Dad's sister and her many kids stayed at our crowded house for several months when I was 7. On the suggestion I might be feeling neglected (really?), Dad took me to the mall for Baskin Robbins and bought me a Viewmaster which introduced me to the Lee/Ditko origin of Doc Ock. That was a rare treat indeed.

Here, Joe is shot---not fatally---and is replaced as the new fastest trigger in town...who gets himself blown away. "See, I really won after all!" Joe tells them. "I'm still alive!!"

Holy cow! I felt him with me Christmas morning, as I pulled out, mostly, some terrific Gerber Defenders issues found cheap on EBay, and just stared at them for the longest time, remembering the box of about 30 comics I got for Christmas '81, all salvage store finds for cover price. I glimpsed the joy he must have felt, being the Dad he never felt his could be for him, picking them out and driving them home with Mama. That image really just hit me for the first time ever just now. How do I thank you...for THAT?

Regards, C Lue Disharoon

Monday, January 4, 2010

Love I am that child (3 of 3)

What could anyone now do for Thurisa? Who could save Sisquewo?

"You have a furrow in your brow," says Osun. "With that place to plant your millet, you are already for the rains!"

"Ha ha! You darling," says Kulinah. "Tell me of your wedding some more. I like your thinking."

"You know, Kulinah, the wedding is a happy occasion, but the exciting part is soon, when we gather at the caves, and the three seeds and the four seeds, girl and boy, will be rubbed across my skin, and I will call to the baby we will have!" Osun squeezes Mary's hand as they come to the gnarled little tree beside Thomas' door.

"Maybe you will be there, praying with me. All these people, their loves and cares, chose to be here, to do all wrongs and sometimes, in spite of themselves, do right.

So much goes right, I suppose we must stay all right with whatever comes our way, so that we may continue receiving also the good that is our due, and continue to attract that, also!"

Did you read my mind? You read my heart.

"If you were fishing and caught an old shoe," Mary responds aloud, "you'd remember there's still fish to be had."

"And if the shoe's still useful," says Osun, vibrantly, "perhaps you'll catch the mate!"

They laugh, they touch each others' arms; each shares energy, as they stand before the antechamber of Thomas Gateway's, the small enclave added to a larger compound, a place to hold a few useful things.

“I wonder if he’s home,” Mary says, “Thomas gads about the village at any time.” Since the entire village is a good place to think, Thomas chooses not to confine himself for his mystical traveling. The village helped him quite incidentally make time for others. He suddenly appears without a knock.

“Osun! Mary Kulinah! Won’t you come inside?” He embraces them, exchanging a few rapid-fire phrases in Fulani
with Osun before pear-shaped Maura arrives, excitedly beckoning her elsewhere.

“Yell ka ye’ (no problems)!” says Osun. Behind her retreating figure, Mary observes Raoul and Johmay nearby,
closing a conversation for a casual moment of silence, as though the inspiration has quickly occurred to them both to acknowledge a pervasive, quieting force, momentarily exposing the simplicity of being.

The silences in being together are an everyday sight throughout the village, indubitably respecting the need for something like solitude without loneliness. Here, I felt, fit to burst, to spill sorrows to a completely receptive friend. Could it just be enough to know I could, and not add to the burdens others carry?
But what I want to ask---about this life, with the chance to catch that other shoe---it’s been---“

“Ooo, come inside, I need you if you please!” says Thomas, already pulling at her wrist.

The horror of what was done to her---the betrayal she felt she’d always feel from the justice system, the terminal reputation of the disease inhabiting her body---none of the things without redress could haunt this shared life for long, and memories of pain became too small and selfish a shell to contain the growth of her new form.

If this village could not shelter her from further disappointment, was not proof against all irresolution, still she could not find the fault within herself. She wonders, in the balance of things, if her life doesn’t belong to Thurisa---belong to
the dream. In what way?

“I have much to prepare today,” says Thomas, simultaneously plopping on the floor before his handmade wicker chair, suggesting Mary take it. “So if you please, take this shea butter and rub my feet! It is all in the world I need.

I will be so very strong for everyone, but I need to be served, too, thank you, that’s soo good! I’m recuperating
rapidly! But not too rapidly,” he adds with a cocked grin, “I want you to get all you need from my feet!”

If ever there was a man who was in this world but not of it, my friend qualifies.

And where I grew up, you’d only
laugh at the idea of a bisexual witch doctor---yet here is the most natural person I know.
She reapplies lotion,
awakening nerve endings in Thomas’ toes, thinking of these feet, their steps putting his wisdom and healthiness in the ways of those his soul intended. He had showed her how not to keep the raging storms of emotions pinned, nor
to allow them to rove the subconscious unacknowledged. When she sat in the ash circle and vented her bitterness---

however undeserving she felt about embracing her hurt initially---she lived a new way, open minded and open
hearted, as she had been before the Robinhood scam, but with greater self-respect, for choosing to bear the trials
with meaning and grace.

“The ancestors share our concerns over beings flowing into their new forms,” says Thomas, returning the favor now on her feet.

“Mary Kulinah, dear, take time to love the red clay with your hands as you do with your feet. With each step is a kiss,
an agreement to make a way for you, your own. Before you went inside your mother, before you
became a part of this world, without earthly expectations, you selected a life of your needs and your service. You decided on this foot rub, and the breakfast you’ve forgotten about, and every friend and every word, even if you
didn’t quite know them yet as they are! My namesake was executed at the hands of his best friend, whose justice was taking over the presidency.”
“I never knew that!”

“Yes! But in a fundamental way, they both made that choice—because of a lesson, an example towards which neither realized they were working in life---and then, there it was! And these lessons are worth our lives---even very
good lives of forgiveness are laid down---because these choices are for borrowed things.”
“All our time is borrowed,” she replies quietly.

“All time is made for borrowing,” he says, draping his right arm around her shoulders, he, a few inches shorter than
she. “All the experience is your own. Well, your water’s ready to share when you arrive home.” Did he mean the water boiling at the compound? A metaphor? He meant to send her on her way, gently, so signified with a kiss atop her head and a light squeeze on her shoulder.

“I’ve borrowed your time enough, Thomas,” she says, “but I’ll repay it everywhere.”

“I’m the one who’s borrowed you,” he replies, as she makes for the doorway. “See you!”

Much of her caar---her matrilineal clan---already had arrived. Many neighbors at rest outside the banco walls of the
hut sing or pray or handle stones or light the candle way.

I am that child. I feel as though I am that life.
Gather around me---we’re going to top ourselves!
Traveller, dear---chiekuo or whatever you are, we’re all travelers here---If you find it unnecessary to cause this pain
to your mother by leaving, please don’t. You’ve got to understand---you are where all understanding begins, and
you know, as you begin your life, you will mean so much to these people. We’re here for you, wherever in the
universe you go.
With you, I understand how everyone thinks and feels, and love them like Thagba, like Christ loves
them. From where you stand, in infinite mercy---from grace---everyone’s someone who is understood, who creates
themselve s. leaf masks swamp things Burkina Faso

This is a sample of ch. 8 of my novel
Current mood: blissful
Category: Writing and Poetry

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Love: brides to be 2 of 3

In the tension, Mary's bowels trouble her. Mary believed she'd quietly side-stepped her death sentence; the diarrhea she feared would dehydrate her body has been absent so long. Wasn't I the fool, believing some place is beyond harm---as though we can be good and wish it away!

She crouches, remaining concealed for privacy as she watches more of the new arrivals fleeing the Congo, passing here in Dano. Their wretchedness state of clothing marks the refugees. If only our neighboring countries weren't so torn with greed and killing, there wouldn't be so many still born children. Or refugees. Sick to her stomach with anger, she realizes she must calm herself, ashamed at her unwelcome towards those proceeding to the water, life preserving, without which the tribe passes away.

So that is what it is like to fear the downtrodden.

An image of her friend Thomas---my gay magician buddy---eases her mind, brings an awareness of the fear itself, like the joy, childlike in equal measure. She blinks back tears, resolving to see him after delivering water to her hut.

Unless someone asks, I'll keep this to myself, I can't spread this feeling! How can I greet everyone 'good morning'? Happy things can be said, even when days begin in unhappy things. What of the birds, singing in the baobob tree on the left hand side of the path? Her evaluations shrink quietly, like one of many obstacles an ant might notice upon the ground.

She continues vacillating between sorrow and solace until she reaches the hut, tears welling in eyes lit by dawn as she kneels with the pots and calabashes. By night only, she shares this earthen hut, always safe, hearing, feeling the breathing of the women and children, even when she'd first arrived, when the thilduu, the hearth shrine, was still enfolded in mystery, brightly colored carvings.

In a way, knowing of the ancestors, the closeness of their world, its place in the hearts and imaginations of her precious Dagara only deepens the mystery, though all her alarm over the supernatural---she'd avoided thinking about it 'too much' at first---faded as she saw it naturally incorporated. Life was less sophisticated by a material standard here, yes; did she find, in sophistication's place, an honesty nonpareil, based on love and appreciation? Isn't that worth the hardships we bear?, she implores, to some witness self within. Is it?

She starts the fire for the largest kettle. I can take Sisquekwo warm water. Maybe Wobogo or someone can help me get it there. That's what I love---no one has to do anything alone.

There's a soft tug at her sleeve as she stares into the fire, lofting some hopeful part of her from the ashes, hope that slowly descends, mist-like, her presence comforting Sisqekwo and all her house. She turns from this inner sanctity to find it reflected without, in the face of little Naylan, watching her, awakened by the shoveling of ashes, stirred from dream to hug her unconditionally.
"Mam nanga feom," Naylan Da says.

"Mam nanga feom (I love you!)" replies Mary, stroking his head, shaven for summer.

They speak of their dreams, as Sankanthu Da, who remembers no dreams, arises to play with Naylan and aid in morning chores. They take great delight in Naylan's tale of reptile giants, like crocodiles, shaping the world with new mountains and oceans.

"Maybe you dreamt of the creation of the world," says Sakanthu. "I've never heard it that way!"

Mary dismisses herself from their company and the warming water, departing for Thomas Sankara's hut.

"I think we will go welcome Thurisa today," Naylan says, provoking cooing from Sakanthu. "When she comes, we will all know happiness."

Still sometimes I hurry, Kulinah thinks, grateful to head straightaway to her objective. Early on, she'd beg excuse for the embarrassing irregularities of her condition, only to find no one was particularly bothered, even offering ritualistic health. Her resistance to ritual lessened, and then in time, she found the rituals had replaced the anxieties, even most of the effects!

A quick dismissal doesn't seem appropriate in the presence of Osun, one third of the Hienbe wedding party planned for the next day. They'd first met, chasing the elephants out of the strained rivulets of the cracked riverbed; the elephants tended to keep a trail near water. She'd introduced Mary to "monkey bread," the sweetly, slightly acidic enormous oval sacs, picked off the trees for a delicious jolt.

"Kibari, Kulinah!" says the topless, stately young woman, with the Yoruban first name and Fulani looks. She'd attained baskets of leaves for shea butter from a kerlite tree, doubtlessly to prepare cooking. She puts them down for a hug. Something in Osun's love, thinks Mary, is full of every one's love! She wonders about her, the wedded life ahead. She replies, squeezing Osun tightly as she speaks:

"What joy you must feel, making your vows open to all!" She finds, in the strange language, an eloquence here, after the burdensome clichés piled unthinkingly into most of her life, erased by new talk in this ancient land.

"And you are most welcome, too, my far-away bird!"

"Are you nervous?"

"Oh! Unafraid, but yes, so much attention! What did I ever do to deserve so much, besides follow my path?"

Something deep within Mary-Kulinah stirs, a point of view open between dream and waking, an idea that titillates and comforts simultaneously. Perhaps, she thinks to herself, of something so irrational, yet possibly magical, so long denied.

"Osun, come with me if you want to share conversation. We are going to see our thildar friend."

Osun pauses thoughtfully. "The gateway Thomas?"

"That's the perfect way to say it, yes!" she replies, taking the hand offered, with its aloe scent wafting in the breeze-born rustling.

"Na an bi baro ke (let's hang out)!" Osun says. "Nib'I fe (I like you!) Ed looge (let's go!)"

*Mary listens to Osun's joyous chirping , as she caresses a gaa tree reaching out of sight into the sky. They pad the cool, red earth; a kerlite tree rustles nearby, as Osun hums before speaking.

"Oh, the yolon! My wedding will have a balaphon player! You know, like 'tinka tinka tink-tink'," she says, pantomiming a xylophone, hammering its bars to some danceable rhythm. "I'm sure you didn't know at first how many people have taken on the name Thomas Sankara. That was one rare president! No air conditioner and one refrigerator; an honest, four hundred-fifty dollar a month salary, an all-woman motorcycle honor guard, a guitar, and a mind full of compassion for what all the tribes need."

"He sounds like one of us," says Kulinah. Us.

"He still is one of us," says Osun with cheer. Mary Kulinah contemplates how happiness marks Burkina Faso, is part of its identity as surely as poverty and the danger of malaria.

But why doesn't that joy survive the education process more often? Why couldn't a few more tribes people acquire Western-style skills for improving the quality of life? What could anyone now do for Thurisa? Who could save Sisquewo?